In some ways, I am leading the life of a student these days. I am quite possibly living much like I would have, in my late teens, had I not dropped out of high school and moved to New York to pursue an artist career. I have for a while now been studying math for my GED test, and I’m making good progress, as I work on it on most days. I will also be making gradual advances toward getting my driver’s license (!!!), and this week I got myself some reading materials from the DMV. I must first study to get my learner’s permit. Hehe…easy does it.
My life centers much around learning these days. I’m learning about myself, the world, people, science, music, becoming an adult, being independent…you name it. In many areas, I have pretty much started from scratch. But in all of this, one realization is becoming very clear, and that is the importance of having a great teacher. Yes, I teach much of what I’m learning to myself. But this wouldn’t be happening had there not been a catalyst–someone who believed in me and my intelligence. For that is what a great teacher does: he/she makes you believe that you can learn, that you can understand, you can overcome. This person for me has been…my significant other. Were it not for him, I might never have discovered all this beauty that I’m discovering within myself, day after day.
I know. It’s kinda hard to follow that up with anything else, but nevertheless I will; for I want to talk about my growing passion for math, a subject I used to detest back in high school. My enthusiasm is due to another great teacher, Salman Khan, who’s the creator of khanacademy.org. He’s the one responsible for “a library of over 4,000 videos on everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and hundreds of skills to practice, to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace.” I am absolutely in love with this guy. Had math been taught to me in this way back when I was in school, I would have grown up thinking that I’m a smart gal; which would have been accurate. Lousy teachers make for lousy students.
All we need is someone to support us, to encourage us and to excite us. Once the thirst for knowledge has been sparked, there’s no quenching it.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
― Benjamin Franklin